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Dead Horse Crying (standard:poetry, 306 words)
Author: ErinKelly-MoenAdded: Jun 25 2004Views/Reads: 2635/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
How do you tell an 8yr. old her horse has died overnight?

“She's dead.” 

My husband pronounced these words early this morning, I had found him
asleep on the couch. “When,” I asked. 

“Around midnight.” 

The stake of reality, of fragility, of loss, slams into my heart, for my
daughters, my husband, for sweet life's mortality. 

Dead horse crying. 

We decide, they will be told after school. He leaves before they wake. I
feel... glassine, stretched to futile nothingness, razor's thin edge 
proceeds to slash my emptied surface. 

The oldest daughter arises, her horse is young and healthy. My mask is
in place. She calls her dad. “She not doing well,” he tells her, I hear 
her soft sobs as she heads to the shower. 

(She's dead,” echoes in my mind.) 

I awaken the younger child, only eight, she doesn't want to eat or go to
school. She wants to rub her horse's belly, “I know how, mom, it helps 

(“She's dead.”) 

I have to be careful, hating the manipulation, the lie. She calls her
dad, the story is retold. He is working on the necessary disposal, he 
stayed with Santana, until she died. 

(“Around midnight.”) 

“Snack bar today,” I announce, switching mind's path, we decide on
pizza, Gatorade and a brownie, I continue to juggle her emotions. After 
dropping the older child off, “Calling on Angels” plays on the radio, 
bringing tears to my eyes. 

("She's dead.”) 

We finish getting her ready for school, she wants to go immediately to
the Corrals when she gets out, to be with her horse...her horse, lying 
dead right now...I need a reason...I 

can't grasp the suddenness, not such a small thing, an animal's life. I
must grapple, again, with reality's indifference, explain the my daughter losing a piece of her innocence, 
absorb her pain, feel fresh scars on my heart. 

Dead horse, crying. 

Erin Kelly-Moen Copyright 2003 © 


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